Friendly: Rwanda Amavubi triump 3-1 over the Walia Ibex of Ethiopia

The Amavubi have defeated Ethiopia as they prepare to face Ghana in AFCON qualifiers (28 August 2015).

The game was played today (28 August 15:30) at Amahoro stadium as part of Amavubi’s preparations for the Afcon 2017 qualifier against Ghana scheduled for 5 September in Kigali.

Speaking after the full-time whistle Coach McKinsty said:

"It is very good to get a win... winning becomes habit and that is 3 wins on the bounce now..."

"We've scored 3 goals today... all very good goals... all from crosses and headers in open play... something that maybe Rwanda has not been renowned for, so that is very good"

First Half

The Amavubi moved into the lead early in the first half at 18 minutes after ERNEST SUGIRA converted a cross from HARUNA NIYONZIMA. Ethiopia equalised however just before the half-time whistle after the Amavubi defence failed to close them down, leaving enough space to allow them to make a pass across the box and shoot on goal.

COACH MCKINSTRY: "I was disappointed not to keep a clean sheet. Ethiopia really only had two shots on goal in the whole game and one of them has gone in... I need to watch the replay, as I get the impression it may have taken a bad bounce in front of the goalkeeper, but it was a bit of sloppy defending from one of our centre-backs who really needed to force the Ethiopian player wide, but he let him play a pass that led to the shot - so we should have cut it out earlier regardless of whether it is a bad bounce for the goalkeeper or not"


The Amavubi made their mark in the second half, when at 65 minutes left back CELESTIN NDAYISHIMIYE placed a cross which allowed right winger JACQUES TUYISENGE to leap high above the Ethiopian keeper convert a fantastic header to take the Amavubi 2-1.

"it was a perfect goal.. a great example of a wide player coming in when he sees the potential for a cross" said Coach McKinstry

The final Amavubi goal came from a set piece with the ball swinging into the penalty area allowing JEAN BAPTISTE 'MIGGY' MUGIRANEZA to rise up and head it in - adding the Amavubi's third goal in the 73 minute to close out a convincing victory.




Interview with Coach McKinstry 

"Overall there were large spells of play where I thought some of our players were excellent."

"Captain HARUNA NIYONZIMA captain has shown really good technical skills. ERNEST SUGIRA has got another goal to build on his opener in Mozambique - He started the scoring to put us 1-0 up and was fantastic for the whole game. He was a handful for the Ethiopian defence and they never really solved that problem. A number of other players also played very well"

"We also had several other good chances to score other than the 3 goals we did score, whereas on the opposite side Ethiopia struggled"

"but at the same time I told the players afterwards that I genuinely thought that they only played for about 60 minutes of the game - had they played for the full 90, it really could have been 5 or 6 goals"

Ahead of the game, world rankings suggested a close encounter with Ethiopia seen as potentially troublesome opponents who had beaten Rwanda on penalties the last time the two teams met just a couple of years ago

"Ethiopia are similar to us in the world rankings and had also played well recently by winning their opening game in their AFCON qualifying campaign. It was a good result for us and will give our players confidence going into the Ghana game as well as contributing to a climb in the world rankings due out next week".  

"Overall it was a good test game ahead of Ghana next week and has highlighted some things that we can work on over the coming days."



Rwanda 'Amavubi' Squad 

Starting Eleven 

Kwizera Olivier (APR FC), 
Michel Rusheshangoga (APR FC), 
Celestin Ndayishimiye (Mukura VS), 
Faustin Usengimana (APR FC), 
Yannick Mukunzi (APR FC), 
Ismael Nshutiyamaga (APR FC), 
Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (AZAM FC-Tanzania), 
Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga Africans-Tanzania), 
Jacques Tuyisenge (Police FC), 
Patrick Sibomana (APR FC)
Ernest Sugira (AS Kigali).



Eric Ndayishimiye (Rayon Sports)
Fitina Omborenga (Kiyovu Sports), 
Amani Uwiringiyimana (Unattached), 
Djihad Bizimana (APR FC), 
Yannick Mukunzi (APR FC), 
Andrew Butera (APR FC), 
Jean Claude Iranzi (APR FC) 
Michel Ndahinduka (APR FC)


AFCON 2017 Qualifiers

The Amavubi will face GHANA in September 2015, at home in Kigali, Rwanda.


RWANDA FIXTURES - AFCON 2017 Qualification

  • 12-14 Jun 2015 - Mozambique v Rwanda
  • 4-6 Sep 2015 - Rwanda v Ghana
  • 23-26 Mar 2016 - Mauritius v Rwanda
  • 26-29 Mar 2016 - Rwanda v Mauritius
  • 3-5 Jun 2016 - Rwanda v Mozambique
  • 2-4 Sep 2016 - Ghana v Rwanda



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You can read more about Coach McKinstry's:

About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach, with a number of successes across his 20+ year career to date.    He is currently Head Coach of Gor Mahia FC in Kenya

As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, the 'Uganda Cranes' (2019 - 2021) he led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019 and over his tenure delivered a WIN from 2 in every 3 games, going undefeated in over 8 in every 10 games played.  This represented the highest 'win' and 'undefeated' rate achieved by a Uganda National Team Coach in over 15 years.

He was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team (2015-16). Within just 17 months he led Rwanda to a number of highs - including their first ever appearance in the knockout stages of a major international tournament (Quarter-finals of CHAN, Jan 2016) and finished runner-up in CECAFA (Dec 2105), being named 'Coach of the Tournament' for his efforts. 

Across 2013-14, he was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team. Within just over a year, he had led Sierra Leone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World (August 2014). 

He has also been Head Coach of Saif Sporting Club, Bangladesh Premier League (2018-19); and FK Kauno Zalgiris, Lithuanian A-Lyga (2017-18).  He is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach. 

Coach McKinstry is a member of 'Common Goal'. Together members seek to support high-impact organisations that harness the power of football to advance the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Quotes: What the media say

  • McKinstry has experienced much more than the average coach his age. His career has gone from strength to strength, starting in Northern Ireland and England, then via America to West Africa eventually.

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    Damien Edgar Backpage Football
  • There is an almost missionary zeal to Johnny McKinstry's devotion to his job.

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    Daily Mirror
  • McKinstry made an impressive start, losing just one of his first six matches and leading Sierra Leone into the top 50 of Fifa's world rankings, above Northern Ireland, the Republic, Cameroon and Senegal.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
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